We are in the last month of 2018 and what a year it’s been.
There were moments of connection, laughter and liberation. Equally, many things have saddened or even angered us. We’ve had to learn how to keep the business going despite much adversity and a lot of ‘life’ happening to us, but we’re better for it.
Here is our year in review…
January: We spent precious moments with our families despite health issues, tears, and uncertainty. Jibraan, our son, turned 8. Afrin’s dad fell ill while visiting us in Orlando and we almost lost him. Most of January was spent managing his care, and we needed to be present and there for him and manage what was going on in the business without worrying about what could happen in the future… Forging ahead with the business was tough with loved ones unwell, but we managed to push through.
Lesson: Be present. Don’t worry about what could happen.
February: Iman hit a milestone – turning 40. We laughed, cried and spent some quality time with family who flew down to Orlando to make it memorable. Iman always talks about his believe that men really come into their own once they hit 40 so this was a happy age for him to hit. He had planned a grand 40th birthday bash and in the end, with everything happening with Afrin’s dad, Iman’s brother and sister-in-law came in to help him celebrate.
Lesson: Nothing’s more important than family.
March: Screw Networking as Usual, our signature networking event, was re-launched to a really great reception here in Orlando. The new members of the community help to revitalize our business after a few rough months. It was tough to step away from Afrin’s dad’s care to put on a work event, but we needed it, our community needed it and it was rewarding to re-engage.
Lesson: Sometimes, in order to be who you are for people, you need to step away.
April: Iman launched his new venture – supporting entrepreneurs selling from the back of the room at their live events. He helped Steve Olsher and Allyson Byrd sell at their events and helped closes hundreds of thousands of dollars of business. Afrin’s dad came back their home in Orlando. Afrin, despite her asthma, ran her first 5K.
Lesson: Step out – you won’t know what you can do until you try.
May: We went back to our roots and planned an enormous wedding/anniversary party at Atlantis in the Bahamas. We did this for a friend, but it ended up being just the creative stimulus we needed and – Atlantis was amazing. It provided much needed relief for our team and it was great to be among friends after not seeing them since November.
Lesson: Depart from how you normally do once in a while and challenge yourself.
June: Huge professional milestone for us – Red Elephant officially turned 7. Seven years in business left us feeling incredibly proud of ourselves but also very ready to launch what was next. We spend the next couple of months phasing out all of our current programs and developing all the new ones…
Lesson: Stay the course. Don’t quit.
July: We produced a kick-ass event for our long-time clients, Kim Butler and Todd Langford in Park City, UT and helped them propel their movement forward. This was the 5th event we produced for them and by far, the most successful yet.
Lesson: Being part of a movement that matters really fulfills our stand.
August: We got back in the event game after a long hiatus. Our signature 3-day event, Stand Out & Thrive brought hundreds of new entrepreneurs into our herd and launched all new programs for our clients – old and new. We’re revitalized about the business and moving upward…
Lesson: Don’t be afraid to innovate.
September: Afrin hit a milestone – turning 40. We got to spend the time in NY with family and friends. Again, some bad news hit us as Iman’s father was diagnosed with bladder cancer. The cancer is late stage and Iman’s entire extended family is rallying around him to provide all the care and comfort he needs.
Lesson: Life is way too short and we have to savor all of it…
October: We launched 2 new programs, Soul-Driven Journey and Impact Tribe with over 60 new members in our tribe. For the first time in our business, the new programs are completely aligned with who we both are. Our new clients (and some returning ones) are exactly who we want to work with.
Lesson: Be who you are – it’s the best way to make a difference.
November: Afrin successfully launched ‘Rebel Women Workshops,’ the most important and participated in mid-term elections took place, we celebrated 11 years of marriage, and launched our most successful Black Friday Sale ever. Our dads are still unwell but we’re finally learning how to navigate ALL OF IT.
Lesson: You can do it all. It may take some time to figure out – but it’s possible.
December: Just this week, we hosted our final event of the year and it was a huge success. Several new clients – new movements to support and foster…
Lesson: Building a movement is hard work and completely worth it.
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” – Neil Gaiman